Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Few Zombie Drawings

I'm gonna do something a little different and post a few drawings from my sketchbook. Not too much explanation needed here...

Get yer zombie on...

I was having a stupid idea about "Ghouligan's Island"...

Hope you like these, Maybe I'll post some more drawings later on. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zombie Bumper Sticker

This is a sticker I designed a few years ago. I recently had one printed by Zazzle:

Zazzle's quality is excellent. Here it is on the back of my car:

Yes, I own a hearse! I'll probably talk about it more in future posts, but this post is about the sticker. I had only one printed, but if anyone wants one, they are available in my Zazzle store - Get yer Zombie on! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

East German Uniform Jacket

I figure it's about time I wrote about some fashion, so I think I'll start with one of my favorite jackets:
This is an East German enlisted men's parade tunic. It's the one I'm wearing in my profile photo. I bought this particular jacket on eBay, but they are available at various places around the web. They range in price from about $20 - $50. It is sometimes confused with World War 2 German, but this one is much later; I estimate 1970's. The color is different from the older uniforms, too. The older ones were a color known as "Feldgrau" or field gray, which had a lot of green in it. This one is closer to steel gray. The overall fit and construction is excellent.
Everything appears clean and tight, with close atention to detail.

Here's a shot of the inside pocket area:
"G-48-0" is the size. This one translates roughly to a US 38 regular. It's not exact, but with the German (and Swiss) stuff, you can usually subtract 10 and get pretty close, i.e.; 48 is 38, 50 is 40, and so on.

All the outside pockets have edge-binding like this. There is also a small pocket inside the bottom right pocket. Note that even the flaps are lined.

The device on the shoulder is known as a shoulder board. It's held on by a strip of fabric that passes through a loop at the shoulder seam, then the botton is pushed through a hole in the board and tied on with a small string which is accessed by way of an opening in the liner. The pink piping represents Panzer Corps, or armored division (tanks). The patch on the collar is called a collar tab.

This jacket fits me better than any other jacket I own. That's part of the reason that it's one of my favorites. I like to combine it with pants that sport loud or bold colors and patterns. My general approach is patterned bottoms with solid tops. I will post pics of some of my favorite combos in the near future.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Our life is like a warehouse. It's vast and can be filled with anything we want. But we can only see outside. And we are always looking outside our warehouse for everything that will make it feel full - love, happiness, security, wealth, contentment, and so on. But we are not inside the warehouse looking out, we're outside, keeping all the doors and windows blocked - even from ourselves. So we continue searching outside for everything we need. We search the ground, we search the sky and we search other people's warehouses. Sometimes we can find almost what we're looking for, so we take it and store it anyway, even though it isn't really what we want. But we convince ourselves that it's good enough, or that it's the best we can do, or that we don't really deserve anything better. Then we try to paint our warehouse so that it looks good - from the outside.

But what's going on inside? It's hard to tell because we rarely go in there. It's dark and cluttered. We know that there are some very dear treasures in there, but they're guarded by ghosts and demons. We never get very far before the demons are upon us. We try to take a light in with us, but it's from the outside and it stays outside because the doors and windows are shut. So we live with the dark demons taunting us from the inside. And no matter how much we bring home (which is quickly thrown in and the door slammed shut behind it), it still feels empty.

Not only is our warehouse guarded on the inside, we guard it from the outside, so that others won't find out what we have hidden away in our Warehouse of Secrets. Sometimes, we let certain others in, but not very far, and they never get to see everything. Even we can't see everything. So, here we are with a pretty warehouse that feels empty; guarded on the outside by pride and guarded on the inside by fear. And we keep telling ourselves that "Someday" our warehouse will have enough things in it to make it feel full. So we keep looking outside.

All we have to do is open the door and look inside. Because where we thought that there was only darkness, there is a light that always burns and no demon can stand in the face of it. Everything we ever wanted or needed comes from the Light - it is the Light. We can stop looking outside for things to make our warehouse feel full. It is full. It always has been. We just need to find the Courage to go through the dirt and the clutter and the demons that conceal the Light. Yes, the Courage is in there, too. All the Light asks of us is to open the doors and windows and let it shine out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Zombie Analogy...

I just had some deeper insight on the Zombie analogy and how it relates to our society.

I talked a little bit in a previous post about how we are the zombies, but that explanation doesn't go far enough. In most popular zombie stories, the only victims are human. Zombies don't go after other species or other zombies - only live humans. On one level you can say that all of us are the zombies, eating up our resources without conscience and without stopping, but that theory doesn't play well with the popular Zombie Mythology. I think I'm able to break it down further...

I alluded earlier to my fear and anxiety about money, but I've been able to see that in a different way. Recently, there were a few days that the fear had me in a pretty tight grip. The odd thing I noticed, though, is that the whole experience is very much like being sick. The physical sensations are diferent, but no more pleasant. And, after a few days, I feel much better.

Then I realized that society views poverty and unemployment like some infectious disease, and those inflicted with it prey on the financially "healthy". In other words, people who are pumping money or "life" into the system are "Humans" and those who are taking money out of the system - through welfare, unemployment insurance, Social Security, etc, - are "Zombies". So, if you're producing, you're Alive. If you're not producing but not dead, you're a Zombie. Get it?

I think it makes sense. Nobody wants to become one of "them" - just a consumer with no direction and no purpose. We all want our lives to be productive and have meaning. We don't want to be reduced to soulless consumers.

But there's another twist: in my eye, the REAL zombie isn't the consumer at all - it's the System. Think about it. It's sucking the life out of all of us and doesn't return a damned thing of any significant value. It's the King Zombie. The best thing we can do is break free from it, then do away with it.

So, where does that leave me? I'd like to mention that I receive no government handouts of any kind. I refuse. One of the reasons I quit my job is to prove that I could make it on my own, and I intend to do exactly that. Like I said before, I'm about Freedom. There's no way you can be free if you're sucking on some government tit. I also understand that real progress takes time and has to be taken in baby-steps. But with each baby-step towards freedom that each one of us takes, a litle piece of the King Zombie goes down with it. Rock On.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why Fashion Apocalypse Z?

I chose this name mostly because I like the way it sounds. I also wanted something that would bring together elements of my old blog and my current interests and passions. But what does it mean?

The Second College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary describes "apocalypse" as a "prophetic disclosure or revelation." My last blog was concerned with preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. The way I interpret "Zombie Apocalypse" is the revelation that the monster is us. Zombies are a popular metaphor for what we have become; walking dead - mindless, soulless, insatiable, unstoppable comsumers.

I call myself a zombie hunter because I seek to destroy the mindset that causes unconscious consumption. The way I do this is by encouraging people to think for themselves.

But I had to ask myself; "If I was a fashion-conscious zombie hunter, how would I dress?" Sure, it has to be durable and practical, but I also want to express my personal style and convey a sense of light-heartedness. Zombie killing is serious business.

Military clothing is perfect for a lot of reasons. It's versitile and practical and it's built to be used hard. I also like the idea of re-using stuff that's been cast off by the government. The downside is that the colors are drab and if you're using surplus from only one country, you wardrobe can get monotonous real fast.  Mixing it up is key.

In future posts, I will be talking about different styles, colors and patterns of uniforms from around the world and how to combine and modify them in clever and creative ways. Rock On.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Want To Digress...

The focus of this blog is fashion and personal style, but I want to talk a little bit about what got me here. I have to admit that I'm scared. I've made major changes in my life over the last several months and now I'm staring at uncertainty square in the face and it scares the hell out of me.

The last three years have been a period of intense personal growth. It has also been very difficult and at times, very painful. It has taken every ounce of courage I can muster up to make the decisions I have, but I'm doing this beacuse I believe deep in my heart that I'm doing the right thing.

I always thought there was something wrong with me. I never had any direction. I can never focus on anything long enough to make it stick. I've learned how to do a lot of things and got good at many of them, but nothing could hold my passion or attention long enough to make a career - much less a life - out of. My life looked like a huge collection of random and unrelated skills and experiences that added up to what?

By the end of 2008 I was a wreck. I was working up to 65 hours a week as a museum security supervisor and commuting 20 miles each way to do so. I was drinking way too much Monster. My road rage was at a very dangerous level. I literally wanted to kill somebody and that terrified me. I knew I had to do something about it. In February of 2009, I got a wake-up call.

On Saturday February 28, I was on my way to work during a snowstorm. As I was entering the highway, I hit a patch of packed snow and lost control. I slid across the road and was hit by a large delivery truck. I bounced back the other direction and landed off the road. I walked away from it with only a small cut on my head. It really made me start to wonder what the hell I was doing with my life. I literally almost died going to work on Saturday, during a snowstorm at a job that I didn't even like.

Over the next two years, I slowly started to wake up. And as I examined my life more and more closely, I could see that there was truly no future on my current path. I wasn't going anywhere in the position that I had and I didn't want the one above me (it was available). So, on February 19 of this year I left my job with no intention of going back and no intention of getting another job.

That might seem really insane and maybe it is, but it's not about just the job, it's about something much bigger. The longer I looked at it, the clearer it became that I could never be happy or satisfied in any job working for somebody else. It looked like bondage to me. There was no real freedom and no real security. There's no guarantee that your job or your health or anything is going to last one minute longer.

We work most of our lives hoping that "Someday" we'll be able to quit and go do what we want. It's not going to happen. There is no "Someday". I knew that if I wanted freedom, I had to stand up and take it. No one is going to give you your freedom. You have to grab it with both hands. That's what this is all about. That's what I am all about. FREEDOM. I am here to encourage you to shake off whatever binds you and and be the free human that you are and are meant to be.

But I am still scared. Every day I face the reality of not knowing where my income is coming from. There are many others who feel the same thing. The only difference is that I chose my path consciously and voluntarily. But the fear brings me to a crossroad. I can turn back and go find another job - possibly returning to my old one - knowing that it will make me miserable or I can hold on to my freedom and my integrity and face the fear.

I choose answer "B". No job or false promise of security can equal what it feels like to be free. It's awesome. No one can tell me who to be or how to live my life. It's mine and I'll do what I want with it. Writing about fashion and zombies and military gear is what I want to do. And that's what brings me here. I hope you enjoy it.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Purple and Green

I like purple and green together. It's really nothing new. If you look at kids' toys, they are typically used for monsters or "bad guys". I recently got a back-to-school flyer from Bed Bath and Beyond that featured products in these colors. I've been a fan of purple and green for quite a while, but never made much use of them until now. Here are a few examples:

This is a cycling jersey I got in the early 90's:

A couple of my favorite t-shirts:

I'm not limiting it to just apparel. I painted the bathroom white and am using purple and green as accent colors. these two little pictures are just pieces of "Shag" wrapping paper that I put in some frames that I already had:

And speaking of monsters, I found this little guy to be perfect for holding small bathroom items:

No bathroom is complete without a rubber duckie:

Green dog:

This silly green dog is really what started my whole new fascination with purple and green. It makes no sense. I think I should hate this sort of a thing, but I don't. In fact, I really like it a lot. I bought it at the River Market Antique Mall (I love that place!)

Green and purple also work very well with orange. In fact, all the secondary and tertiary colors play well together. Here is a 50's vintage Branchell Color-Flyte cream and sugar set in green and orange:

This is a photo I took to illustrate the three colors together:

The pouch is a Maxpedition Large TacTile. It's shown with a piece of faux fur I bought on eBay, a Tac-Link in coyote tan and some purple 550 cord (also from eBay). All of that is on top of my M-65 field jacket.

I hope you find this post useful. As time goes on, I will be exploring color and texture much more deeply. Rock on.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So Where Do I Start?

I guess - in a way - I'll start where I left off. In my last blog, The Chopsaw Diaries, I was looking at clothing and equipment from the perspective of preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. I was focused on the kinds of things you would need to get through tough times.

Now I'm looking at it as though it's already over. I want to focus on freedom and self-expression rather than survival. Face it; most Americans are living in survival now and have been for some time. It's time to stop surviving and start living.

We've come to a time when we are inundated with a staggering number of choices, but everything looks the same and nothing has any soul. It's all about features and benefits, not quality, durability and integrity. The old saying is true; "They don't make 'em the way they used to."

There are exceptions to that, of course, and Maxpedition is one of them. I have owned Maxpedition products for several years now and it is one of my intentions to become an authorized dealer. But for now I'll just talk about what I have.

So, where I'm picking up from my last blog is my backpack; a Maxpedition Falcon 2 in OD Green. I have had it for over five years, used very often, and it's still in great condition. Their stuff is built to last. It's also versitile and can be customized an infinite number of ways. The look of mine has changed many times over the last five years. This is what it looks like now:

I've lightened it up a bit recently, both in weight and in attitude. I removed the Monkey Combat Admin Pouch and replaced it with a military-issue patch panel. The khaki pouch on the side is a Maxpedition M-2 Waistpack, replacing an M-5. The furry thing is a bloody bear claw from a Japanese character named Gloomy Bear. I replaced the OD green zipper pulls with purple. I like the look much better.

Here's the other side:

The round pouch is a Tactical Can Case. It was designed to hold two cans of chewing tobacco or something similar, but it also works perfectly for carrying my iPhone charger and headphones. ( I use Skullcandy Smokin' Buds, not those shitty Apple headphones.) The zombie has been a mascot for quite a while. I'll write a post about toys in the near future.

Another one of the front:

I did have a locking carabiner on there, but I replaced it with an orange Tac-Link. I'm working towards my 37 pices of flair. The patches are from Mil-Spec Monkey.

My brother commented that it looks like a kid's backpack. That's the idea. Somewhere along the line, we are force-fed the idea that when we "grow up" we have to give up our sense of playfulness and that we can't express ourselves in childlike ways. I say that idea is bullshit. Do what you want.

I'm really loving purple and green together. More about that later...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Get Your Zombie On

Hello and welcome to the first post of my new blog - Fashion Apocalypse Z! This blog is intended as a companion to my upcoming website, My focus is fashion from a post-apocalyptic mindset.

My particular interest is in military surplus, especially European, but combined and modified to suit your personal style.

The Post-Apocalyptic part is where the zombies come in. The other night I was watching George A. Romero's Land of the Dead, and it occured to me that what we need is sort of a post-apocalyptic type of economy; local and small-business based with a strong emphasis on using what we already have. I love the look of zombie survivor fashion - it's part of the reason that I love zombie movies so much. I will be digging into this much more soon!